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New Phenom triple-core processor coming in 2008

AMD today updated its roadmap with another multi-core processor, to slot between its dual and quad-core processors – Phenom triple-core processors. The new Phenom triple-core processors feature three processing cores on a single die and based on AMD’s Barcelona architecture, which launched last week in Opteron form.

The new triple-core processors will feature similar specifications as its upcoming Phenom X2 and X4 brethren. The Socket AM2+ processors feature 512KB of L2 cache for each core and a shared pool of L3 cache. Essentially, the Phenom triple-core processors are quad-core variants with one core disabled. This allows AMD to simply disable one core on quad-core dies for maximum use of a single wafer.

AMD claims to be the only company to offer tri-core processors, which the company claims to bring “true multi-core technology to a broader audience.” AMD has not given the Phenom triple-core processors an official name yet. However, it wouldn’t be too surprising if the tri-core processors followed the current Phenon naming scheme and received the Phenom X3 name.

“With our advanced multi-core architecture, AMD is in a unique position to enable a wider range of premium desktop solutions, providing a smarter choice for customers and end users,” said Greg White, vice president and general manager, Desktop Division, AMD. “As a customer-centric company, AMD is committed to working with our OEMs to deliver compelling value propositions across their multi-core product families with capabilities that address their requirements and aspirations.”

Features unique to AMD’s Barcelona and Stars architectures such as split power planes and dynamic independent core speed adjustments remain supported on triple-core processors. Additionally, AMD Phenom triple-core processors support HyperTransport 3.0 for up to 16GB/second of I/O bandwidth.

AMD claims significant performance gains over dual-core processors with its triple-core processors in benchmarks such as SYSmark 2007 and 3DMark06, where gaming and digital content creation performance is key.

“A continued commitment to elegant design and innovative processor architecture is instrumental to revolutionizing the technology industry,” said Richard Shim, research manager for IDC's Personal Computing program. “The advent of triple-core processors is a valuable market opportunity for customers to deliver end users compelling solutions and further differentiate on the desktop.”

Expect AMD to launch its Phenom triple-core processors in Q1 2008. AMD plans to launch its quad-core Phenom X4 next quarter.

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Decent enough move.
By gochichi on 9/23/2007 9:43:24 AM , Rating: 1
People going through the internal changes necessary to program for 2 cores are probably looking at the fact that quad-cores are already extremely cheap and therefor are actually working on increasing performance via 2+ cores, whatever that number may be. Also, if actual single apps start coming out for 2 cores more and more, then having an extra as a throw in is quite nice.

I just don't know how the pricing magic is going to work out on this. A 3 core processor sounds like a sub-$175.00 part. These new price points are crazy, I mean even right now a dual-core for $90 that is not too shabby is just nutts. AMD was pushed into 3-core space b/c they have to deliver value enough to stay affloat in this crazy world. A world, where I'd much rather be designing after market CPU coolers than being pitted against this day's Intel.

When Intel already has a quad-core (I really could care less about the details, it performs as a computer with 4 CPUS... that's all I care about) for $275.00 it's leaving very little room to work with. This next generation is going to have to be all about value, or not that many fish will byte.

$1000 part? Are you serious, who's buying those? The $300.00 parts are going to be just crazy if AMD enters that market again (there's essentially no competition right now).

Frankly, I was expecting 8-core processors to be the norm by the end of 2008. I guess I was wrong. I'm still hopefull that 8GB of RAM becomes the norm. I'm sure feature creep can keep up :)

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